On Wednesday 9 March 2016 a group of ten willing student volunteers helped the BU Sustainability Team answer this question. We wanted to find out how well we are recycling on campus and where we can improve. We sorted through waste from both campuses to find out what we throw away and whether or not it goes into the right bin.
We were pleased to find relatively little food contaminating the recycling bins, but we did find there was a substantial quantity of rubbish in the general waste bins that could have been recycled; around 35% on Talbot and 88% on Lansdowne. Generally we recycle well, but there is more that you can do to help us improve.
Packaging that is contaminated with food or liquids should go into the general waste bins. Please be very careful not to put food or liquids into the recycling bins as this spoils the contents and means none of it can be recycled. Food can go into general waste or, better still, food bins where these are available. Liquids should be emptied into a sink wherever possible.
Everything else can go into the recycling bin. We sent zero waste to landfill. General waste that is not recyclable is converted into a fuel which is burnt to heat homes. End of life plastics are converted into a fuel for vehicles.
Please make sure that you always place waste into the correct bin. If you are unsure about what to do with waste, please contact the Sustainability Team who will be able to help you: [email protected].